Behind the Scenes at the Waterloo Air Show
CF-18 Hornet – Video Tour
LearnToFly.ca Editors, Greg and Geoff McKay were invited behind the scenes at the Waterloo Air Show. They spent the Air Show Morning with the Canadian Forces CF-18 Demonstration Team and LearnToFly.ca was granted full access to produce a behind the scenes video tour of the CF-18.
LearnToFly.ca now shares with you their exclusive video including Pilot and team member Interviews, Cockpit Tour, and In-Cockpit Flight Video taken at the Waterloo Air Show during the amazing CF-18 performance. This was the very first Canadian Air Show of the 2012 season for the CF-18 Demonstration Team and Captain Patrick “Paco” Gobeil as Demo Pilot.
The True North Strong and Free
Every year, the CF-18 Demo Team Jet has a new theme, and the paint scheme of the 2012 Jet celebrates ‘The True North Strong and Free’. The motif of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 Demonstration Jet highlights the Northern Sovereignty of the Canadian Forces. The incredible art work and design of the CF-18 Hornet was created by Design Director Jim Belliveau, who has outdone himself again this year. For over 20 years, Jim and his team have been responsible for creating a unique, custom paint scheme to reflect the annual theme selected for the Demonstration Team Fighter Jet.
Exclusive Video: CF-18 Hornet Fighter Jet – Behind the Scenes!
CF-18 Hornet Jet – Pilot Interview with Captain Patrick “Paco” Gobeil
Canadian National Anthem
The phrase “The True North Strong and Free!” is well recognized from the Canadian National Anthem. With this also being the theme of the 2012 CF-18 Demo Team, it speaks to the magnificence of Canada’s North. The theme also emphasizes the Canadian Forces resolve to demonstrate and maintain a visible presence in Northern Canada, and to defend Canada’s Arctic territory and sovereignty. CF-18 fighter jets are an integral part of Canada’s northern sovereignty patrols to help defend Canadian airspace as part of NORAD and northern operations such as Op Nanook, Op Nunalivut and Op Nunakput.
Love the Polar Bear!
The CF-18 Demo Team Hornet is beautifully painted with many arctic images to symbolize Canada and the Canadian North. The CF-18 Paint Scheme displays 13 Snowflakes, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), Arctic hunters, Canadian Maple Leafs, and of course the Polar Bear!
Of all the arctic imagery on the CF-18, the Polar Bear is a crowd favourite. The CF-18 Tail Fin is iconic looking with the majestic Polar Bear standing on a Polar Sea Ice Cap in front of the Aurora Borealis.
CF-18 Demo Team Themes
Every year, a CF-18 Demo Team Hornet Jet is unveiled with a unique design and custom paint scheme. The 2012 Arctic Imagery is beautiful and symbolic of Canada’s North.
2011 CF-18 Demo Team
- Theme: Supporting Our Military Families
- CF-18 Demo Pilot: Captain Erick “Hom” O’Connor
- Video: Learn to Fly a CF-18 Hornet
- Article: 2011 CF-18 Hornet Demo Team
- Gallery: 2011 CF-18 Hornet Pictures
2012 CF-18 Demo Team
- Theme: The True North Strong and Free
- CF-18 Demo Pilot: Captain Patrick “Paco” Gobeil
- Video: CF-18 Hornet – Behind the Scenes at the Waterloo Air Show
- Gallery: 2012 CF-18 Hornet Pictures
The Behind the Scenes CF-18 Hornet Video was filmed on a “Hot Ramp” (Active) at the Waterloo Air Show. During filming of the CF-18 Jet Tour and interview, you can see the taping was interrupted three times by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds flying overhead. It made for a great interview, as the noise and rumble of the Snowbirds complimented this year’s Demo Team theme: The True North Strong and Free.
Aircraft Carrier Ready
The CF-18 Hornet is an Aircraft Carrier Ready Jet with the tail hook for carrier based landings. But, many people might not realize the CF-18 Hornet also has folding wings, minimizing the “footprint” required to park a CF-18.
Folding Wings – Video
You can see the CF-18 Hornet’s Folding Wings in action at 21:30 in the CF-18 video.
CF-18 Hornet Demo Team Mission
“The mission of the CF18 Demo Team is to demonstrate the professionalism, skill and teamwork of the Canadian Forces. These values and qualities come from our rich military history; it is important to remember why we are here and to recognize from whence we came…”
CF-18 Hornet Cockpit Cam
You can see the High Definition (HD) Cockpit Camera mounted on the inside of the Canopy of the CF-18 Hornet. Exclusive to LearnToFly.ca, the Cockpit Cam filmed the entire performance of the CF-18 Hornet at the Waterloo Air Show.
Paco Eye View
Cameras were mounted inside the CF-18 Hornet cockpit to provide both a forward looking “Paco Eye View”, and also the face view of Paco as he flew the demanding air show performance.
High Definition (HD) Video – Cockpit Cam
You can watch the HD CF-18 Cockpit Cam to help you visualize the awesome speed and manoeuvrability of the CF-18 Hornet Fighter Jet first hand.
The CF-18 Hornet’s breath-taking performance and the precision flying skills of Pilot Captain Patrick “Paco” Gobeil are evident as you watch this exclusive video.
Captain Patrick ”Paco” Gobeil
Each year, a Canadian Forces Pilot is carefully selected to be the CF-18 Demo Team Hornet Pilot. This is quite an honour, and pilots chosen to fly the Demonstration Jet receive special, advanced training. It is considered to be a very high honour, and the chosen Demo Team pilot receives recognition and respect from within the Canadian Air Force Fighter community, and across Canada, and beyond.
Paco met with LearnToFly.ca editors, and he provided a full tour of the CF-18 Hornet including an introduction to the Cockpit of this advanced Fighter Jet. This was immediately before Paco was scheduled to fly his CF-18 over the crowds of the Waterloo Air Show, and it was Paco’s first Canadian air show of the 2012 season.
Career Highlights: Captain Patrick “Paco” Gobeil
- 1995 – Graduated Centre Québécois de Formation Aéronautique (CQFA, Chicoutimi)
- 1997 – Enrolled in the Canadian Forces
- 2000 – Graduated 2 Canadian Forces Flying School (2 CFFTS) Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
- 2001 – Assigned as Flying Instructor, 2 CFFTS
- 2004 – Assigned as Snowbird 6 Outer Right Wing, Canadian Forces Snowbirds
- 2009 – Assigned as Pilot, 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec
- 2010 – Assigned to 3 Wing Operations, Bagotville, Quebec
- 2012 – Assigned as 2012 CF-18 Demonstration Pilot
Paco is recognized as one of Canada’s Top Pilots, and he is an ideal choice to represent the professionalism and expertise of the 2012 Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team.
The Arctic Imagery includes 13 individual snowflakes, and each snowflake painted on the CF-18 Jet represents an artistic impression of a distinctive aspect of the Canadian North.
The 13 “True North Snowflakes” of the CF-18 have a special meaning. The number 13 signifies the 13 provinces and territories across Canada. In addition, there are 13 Wings across Canada, and amazingly there are 13 team members on the CF-18 Demo Team this year.
Snowflakes are Unique
As everyone knows, every Snowflake is unique. The 13 True North Snowflakes are also each unique, and they each have their own special meaning.
13 Unique Snowflakes of the CF-18 Demo Team Jet:
- Northern Treasure
- The Great Gold Rush
- Long-Range Patrols
- The Northern Way of Life
- Canada’s Arctic Sovereignty
- The Pine Tree Line
- Exploration and Sacrifice
- Northern Fauna
- Bush Planes
- The Northern Culture
- The Northern People
- The St. Roch
- The North in Peril
The CF-18 Hornet has incredible thrust, and it takes-off in a very steep climb. Once it is airborne, it begins to do a roll while the landing gear is still extended. The CF-18 is still in a “Dirty Configuration” moments after lifting off the runway, as it executes a complete roll.
Dirty Roll Take-Off Cockpit Cam
You can see the Dirty Roll Take-Off from three vantage points in this Exclusive CF-18 HD Video. The three views include: Cockpit View – Forward Facing, Cockpit View – Facing Pilot, and Outside View.
The 2012 CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team put on an amazing performance at the Waterloo Air Show, and the crowd loved the high energy, precision, and power of the CF-18.
Thanks to Captain Holly-Anne Brown (Public Affairs Officer), Captain Patrick “Paco” Gobeil (CF-18 Demo Pilot), and the entire CF-18 Demo Team, and the Waterloo Air Show, for providing a “Behind the Scenes” look into the CF-18 Hornet!